Today begins our travels to Lucerne for the World Cup! After practice this morning at Princeton’s Shea Boathouse, we finished packing and then hopped on a bus down to Philadelphia to catch our flight to Zurich. It’s quite a large group of athletes traveling—not quite as many as a trip to the World Championships, but that’s because many of the US men and women are already across the pond, having raced at the Munich Rowing World Cup and/or currently racing at the Henley Royal Regatta.
We’re very excited for this racing opportunity. Besides the regatta’s place in our training year as a season-opener, it’s our first chance to test ourselves against competitors from countries that we’ll be seeing at the World Championships in October. This particular World Cup, this year, is also the biggest Rowing World Cup in history, with more than 900 athletes representing 50 countries. The event schedule has also been changed from a more traditional schedule in order to make rowing more TV- and webstream-broadcast friendly. It’s great to see changes happening that are making rowing more accessible, publicized and, well, exciting to people who may not know the ins and outs of the sport.
The increased event participation also means that many of the events have more competitors than we’re used to seeing. For example, the women’s eight, which is limited to seven participants at the Olympics, has nine crews entered; the men’s double has 28 entries and the men’s four has 23! Since this regatta is both a chance to test our speed and to get some 2,000-meter racing under our belts, it’s great to have more competitors and therefore more racing opportunities.
That’s all from the City of Brotherly Love! Good luck to all of our teammates racing at Henley tomorrow!